What I Saw at Training Camp: Offense, Day One

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The first day of training camp is always a deluge for me.  We’ll be rolling out lots more content on the site through the weekend as we spend time in Cortland, but here’s a first pass at what stuck out at us from the first practice.  Next, the offense.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Why I’m not concerned about Willie Colon’s readiness for camp

Before Rex took the podium today, I noticed on the field that Brian Winters was working with the ones and back playing his more familiar left guard position, the spot where he started three quarters of the 2013 season. 2013 draftee Oday Aboushi was working on the right side of the line, and it occurred to me that there was something implied.

If Colon wasn’t ready to be inserted in the coming days, then one would imagine the team would want to get Winters as ramped up at the more difficult right guard spot normally occupied by Colon, while giving Aboushi more time at the spot where he played in OTAs and where Brick and Nick would do a better job in babysitting the youngster. Rex confirmed Colon’s imminent return in his press conference today when he said that Willie is “ready to go,” but the training staff is working him back onto the field slowly for purely precautionary reasons.

It’s time to flex

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What I Saw at Training Camp: Defense, Day One

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The first day of training camp is always a deluge for me.  We’ll be rolling out lots more content on the site through the weekend as we spend time in Cortland, but here’s a first pass at what stuck out at us from the first practice.  First up, defense.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

DE Jason Babin makes it official, clouds concern on when Barnes will return

With Antonio Cromartie out of the picture this year, the team’s secondary is younger and, as a result, will need to do their best to pressure the quarterback to add “suppressing fire!!!” for their defensive backs. The Jets signing of Jason Babin indicates to me that Antwan Barnes might still have some road ahead of him before he is ready to step back out onto the field. Recovering from an ACL tear is never easy for NFLers and the team seems to be hedging their bets in finding a situational pass rusher. Consensus on the sidelines is that Babin will still be on the roster come cutdowns. We’ll have to see how he looks, but unless he’s fallen far (he still had 7.5 sacks last year) from last year, the Jets can find a spot for him. Rex didn’t put a timeline on Barnes’ recovery, but did say it would be “slower” when compared to Willie Colon.

Platoon play rules the day at safety

Get ready for a lot of Safety Dance headlines. The Jets were rotating rookie Calvin Pryor, Antonio Allen and Dawan Landry early in work with the first team. For now, the Jets aren’t showing their hand about their intent, other than they like their top three safeties. “We’re deep,” Rex said, when asked about his safeties. Rex knows with young players “I want to keep ‘Double-A’ humming … but not … cheat Landry of [practice snaps].” Rex has loved using the Big Nickel before in the past and while he might get there, he seems content to experiment with different looks early on in camp.

Is it coming together for CB Kyle Wilson? To read more of this story, click here

Rex: ‘This is the team I want’

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

When pushed about this statement and comparing the level of talent to the level of talent the team fielded in 2010, Rex said that it was less about that and more about the atmosphere and camaraderie. That it was more about the dynamic, the leadership, the exuberance and the communication.

While Rex granted that there are still mistakes being made by the team (running backs dropped two handoffs today) he loves the way “they are pushing each other” and spoke at length about how he feels this team is great at communicating to each other.

It’s an interesting point. With a raft of young players and a few veterans, the hierarchy is very apparent. Dawan Landry is the “old man” in the secondary. So is Kyle Wilson. Some of the spectres that players like Santonio, Sanchez and others might have had with the team aren’t here anymore but Rex likes the new dynamics developing.

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What happened at Training Camp today?

SNY’s Andrew Johnston and Leonard Orman are at Jets Training Camp, and here’s their dispatch of what they saw and heard from Day One of camp…

Orman:

  • Rex Ryan said that this team is further along at thing point in time than any other team he’s had. Ryan said the team knows their schemes and has already built up their chemistry.
  • Dexter McDougle got a lot of time with the starters and had an interception during the 11-on-11 drills.
  • Geno Smith “looked really good.” He got a lot of praise from coaches and players, especially Rex Ryan and Eric Decker.
  • Sheldon Richardson seems to be in incredible shape — a big, trim guy.

Johnston:

  • Decker and Jeremy Kerley were in midseason form, as they’ve already seemingly built a connection with Smith. They were running crisp routes and had a lot of good grabs.
  • Jalen Saunders also stood out on offense and showed off his speed.
  • Shaq Evans dropped multiple balls and was brought aside by coaches a few times. Stephen Hill took him aside, too, to talk to him.
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Jason Babin signs with Jets

Jason Babin has signed a two-year deal with the Jets, according to his agency (Eastern, July 22). Reporter Kimberly Jones was first to report the signing (NFL, July 23).


July 24: Babin officially signed his deal with the Jets:


The defensive end visited the Jets on Monday (Jones, July 23).

Babin played in 16 games with the Jaguars last season, racking up 7.5 sacks and 31 tackles. He led the Jags in sacks.

The 34-year-old has played in 130 games for six different teams in his career, compiling 62.5 sacks and 269 tackles.


More: Scouting Jason Babin

Enunwa has hip injury

Rookie wide reciever Quincy Enunwa has a hip injury, Rex Ryan said on Thursday.

Enunwa, a 6-2, 225-pound wide receiver, set Nebraska’s single-season receiving touchdown record last season, when he reeled in 12.

“He went through individual [drills], and then really couldn’t do the team [practice periods],” Rex Ryan told reporters after practice concluded. “I don’t know the severity of that injury. I don’t think it’s that severe of an injury, but we’ll certainly lean on the trainers and things.”

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TheJetsBlog’s guide to training camp in Cortland (with map)

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Jets players reported Wednesday afternoon to SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY to begin training camp for their first practice on Thursday, July 24 at 10 a.m.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

For most football fans, it is all about the sixteen regular seasons games. But for my money, I love Jets training camp. I love watching young players improve from year to year, to see NFLers work on technique and skill up close, witness who the vocal leaders are of any position group and watch what wrinkles the coaches work into the play packages. But most of all, I love to see players fighting for roster spots and working to make every rep count before the team winnows the roster from 90 players to just 53.

To me, it is thrilling.

During practice days, the team trains on two practice fields at the west end of the SUNY Cortland campus. Signage is well marked as you enter town from any highway exit of I-81 and the parking is a short walk to the fields. On the way, be sure to check out the Jets Fan Fest which has souvenirs and activities for kids.

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As far as watching the players? The areas where fans can roam are slimmer than at Mets camp, but there’s generally plenty of room to get close to the fence and watch the team. There are small sets of stands set up which would provide good perspective on both fields, and the best viewing spots where you won’t have to move much would be along the sidelines on the field where the filming towers are set up for the day. Generally, only one field gets the towers and that’s the field where they do offense on defensive scrimmaging toward the end of practice, and that’s generally the most exciting part of the practice.

For the uninitiated, practice is an ever broadening confluence. Players start with stretches and warm-ups. Then do some warm up work with their position group. The warm-ups turn into drills that might include another position group (ie. quarterbacks throwing to receivers) and then those drills begin to include opposing players (ie. quarterbacks throwing to receivers with defensive backs in coverage) until it is full eleven-on-eleven scrimmaging.

Also, be sure to check out which players are on the small side field on the bike or doing conditioning work. It might tell you who is dealing with injuries and who likely won’t be practicing. This year I’ve christened the conditioning field The Santonio Holmes Memorial Field. No, not really.

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